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RPA as a Digital Transformation Catalyst

Katie-Rose Herd and Steven Bradford share insights on rpa's role in businesses' digital transformation initiatives.

August 2020


Key Points:

  • RPA is just one component of an overall digital transformation stategy.
  • RPA plays an important role in ensuring organizations remain competitive and profitable.
  • Governance measures allow for strategic prioritization of resources.

How does RPA, or robotic process automation, fit into a company’s overall digital transformation implementation strategy? Katie-Rose Herd, Director, Opportune LLP, and Steven Bradford, Managing Director, Opportune LLP, offer their take on RPA’s important role in fulfilling the mission of digital transformation.

“RPA is one piece of the puzzle to an organization’s digital transformation journey,” Herd says. “I think they're globally looking to see how they can adopt RPA to be more agile and efficient when there are disruptions and outages to the business.”

With so many different RPA solutions available to assist implementing digital transformation frameworks and infrastructure, how does a company pick the right one?

“There are three products that tend to surface and come to the top when it comes to RPA software products,” Bradford says. “Blue Prism, Automation Anywhere and UiPath. Those are the ones we predominantly see adopted, especially within the energy sector.”

While the financial industry has gotten a leg up on the energy industry incorporating RPA into their digital plans about seven-to-eight years ago, the experience and learnings from the financial industry's use of RPA technology is enabling the energy industry to think more critically about how it should allocate the appropriate amount of human workforce and resources for establishing an RPA infrastructure that can be scalable over time and allow the RPA framework to grow alongside the business.

“Certainly, energy clients drafting behind the financial sector can benefit from the fact that they’re going to be deploying a software framework far more scalable over the long haul,” Bradford says.

Additionally, Herd and Bradford stress the importance of implementing appropriate, business-led governance measures to ensure that RPA technology can be used in an effective and sustainable fashion for the entire organization to benefit from, not just for the IT and/or accounting departments.

“Sometimes these new tasks can be allocated to a bot rather than adding another thing to a human’s to-do list,” Herd says. “People should start asking themselves: who should do the work or parts of the work process?”

Looking ahead, Bradford and Herd believe RPA solutions will continue to play a key role in ensuring that energy companies perform processes more efficiently as they adapt and evolve amid a global pandemic and a turbulent macroeconomic environment.

"As we move forward in the oil and gas sector, and the cost pressures that continue to be headwinds for our energy clients, I think rpa plays an important part in ensuring that they're able to remain competitive and profitable.”

“As we move forward in the oil and gas sector, and the cost pressures that continue to be headwinds for our energy clients, I think RPA plays an important part in ensuring that they’re able to remain competitive and profitable,” Bradford concludes.

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A headshot of Katie-Rose Herd.
Katie-Rose Herd


A headshot of Steven Bradford.
Steven Bradford

Managing Director